The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that the agency is reopening many of their Farm Service Agency offices for three days amid the government shutdown. Those days are today, tomorrow and next Tuesday. The reason is to help farmers with existing loans and other limited services. They will also ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline. The Allen County FSA office is among those reopening. We have a link to the news release and a list of affected offices on the Iola Radio Facebook page.
Allen Community College is set to unveil its new Student Center to the public next week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been scheduled for next Wednesday, January 23rd at 3pm. As part of the festivities, the new Spencer Ambler Boardroom also will be dedicated, in honor of the longtime college trustee.
Allen County commissioners heard from Thrive Allen County interim CEO Bill Maness this week. The Iola Register reports again reuested $50,000 for the creation of VISIT Allen. That’s an initiative designed to increase tourism in the county. Thrive would contribute an additional $25,000 of its own. If successful, VISIT Allen would operate as a full-time tourism office and share the Kress Building with Thrive Allen County. Also, Bruce Symes was sworn in as the newest Allen County commissioner on Monday.
Humboldt council members learned at their meeting Monday night that roads across town are in need of attention. According to The Register, Humboldt administrator Cole Herder is in search of a way to fund those projects. The city lacks sufficient reserves and alternatives such as a tax increase are not attractive. A Community Development Block Grant is a possibility but the competition is stiff.
A man from Joplin was injured yesterday morning in an accident in Neosho County. At about 9am, the Southeast Kansas Department of Transportation advised that an overturned semi was blocking both lanes of K-47 between U.S. 169 and U.S. 59 or about 2 miles north of Thayer. That situation remained until just after 1:00pm. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the driver, 31-year-old Clifford David Quattlebaum was taken to Neosho Memorial Hospital. They say that the semi left the roadway went into the north ditch and overturned.
The Chanute USD 413 School District has begun to narrow its search for a new superintendent. The Chanute Tribune reports that first to face the school board was David Jackson who is currently Executive Director of Operations for Andover schools. He is one of three finalists for the position. Jackson said he had a good impression of Chanute coming in.
Neosho County commissioners were told at Friday’s meeting that the county’s 911 emergency system is gearing up for a new service in two weeks. According to The Chanute Tribune, the new system will let people contact emergency services by text as well as phone. Commissioners also approved memorandums of understanding with Allen County and Wilson County because of the new system. Neosho County will serve as the primary backup for Wilson County’s 911 system, and Allen County will be Neosho’s primary backup. The new 911 begins operation Jan. 24.
A greenhouse in Iola that has been around for decades will not be opening this year. The Iola Register reports that Ladybug Greenhouse owner Sharon Sigg is retiring and selling off the equipment, including both of her greenhouse frames. Sigg has run the greenhouse for the past 25 years — the first 15 with her late husband, Don.
B&B Theatres has announced that Sonic Equipment Company and its companion business Kneisley Manufacturing in Iola have been sold to an investment group. B&B President Bob Bagby said in a news release that he was approached last year by industry colleagues. He said the sale would open doors for the service company due to the contacts of the members of the investment group. The stipulations of the deal require that Sonic Equipment and Kneisley remain headquartered in Iola for a number of years. Stan Hays is the new President of Sonic and Kneisley.
Seven stop signs in LaHarpe removed by city crews in November will go back up. The Iola Register reports that LaHarpe City Council members came to the decision this week after they heard from a number of residents upset after the removal. Part of the initial rationale was that since City Hall was no longer a school, there were fewer children in the neighborhood.
The CEO of Thrive Allen County, David Toland, has resigned to take a position in state government. Incoming Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has appointed Toland as her Secretary of Commerce. Toland began as Thrive’s executive director in January 2008, after having worked in Washington, DC. During his tenure, Thrive has grown from an all-volunteer coalition to the largest of its type in Kansas with 10 full-time staff positions. Thrive will be recruiting nationally for a new President and CEO.
It’s a challenge! But a friendly one for a good cause. It’s the Battle of the Badges American Red Cross blood drive pitting Allen County law enforcement vs. EMS. The blood drive at Allen County Regional Hospital will span two days, January 16th and 17th. For each unit donated you can cast a vote for your favorite department. We have more details on the Iola Radio Facebook page and iolaradio.com.
Wednesday, January 16 from 11:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday, January 17 from 8:30am – 2:30pm
To make an appointment call (620) 365-1222 or go online to https://www.redcrossblood.org/
Appointments Encouraged – Walk-Ins Welcome
This American Red Cross Blood Drive is hosted by the Allen County Regional Hospital Auxiliary. Enter through the main door and follow signs to the Lynn Family Conference Room.
Twelve weeks remain before voters in Iola go to the polls to weigh in on the school bond issue to build a new elementary school and other renovations at USD 257. The Register reports that committee members are now beginning a planning phase that will last six weeks. Then, for the next six weeks they will launch a public campaign. Committee leaders have been named, but organizers say that there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Anyone interested in being part of a committee can call Ryan Sparks at 757-0901 or Savannah Flory at 496-5467. As the campaign continues, supporters will communicate further about ways a new school can help children and the community.
Storm Fury on the Plains will make it’s annual return to Iola in March. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service will be at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center Creitz Recital Hall on Monday, March 11th from 6:30 to 8:45PM. The event is free and open to the public.